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Next: Gauss' Law

Maxwell's Equations

In 1860, while Americans were waging a bloody civil war, a "thorough old Scotch laird" (then only 29) named James Clerk Maxwell was assembling the known laws of electromagnetism into a compact and elegant form that was to lead, a year later, to the discovery that light is in fact a propagating disturbance in the electromagnetic fields. That discovery was later to overturn all the conceptual foundations of classical Physics and leave "common sense" in much the same condition as the United States after the Civil War. It was hard times all around, but exciting . . . .



 

Jess H. Brewer - Last modified: Wed Nov 18 12:28:27 PST 2015